by Adam Lehrhaupt

This is my idea jar. I keep all my story ideas in it.

You know the ones.

The same ideas we spend all of Storystorm coming up with.

Our brilliant, wonderful, genius ideas.

The ideas we will turn into fantastic manuscripts. Manuscripts that will, some day, become beautiful books.
So yes. This is my idea jar.

When I need a jumpstart, I reach inside and pull out one of my ideas. Then, it’s time to play.

You need to play with your ideas. You know that, right? If you don’t, they get rowdy. When ideas get rowdy…oh, my! The trouble they can cause…

Anyway, now I get to play with my idea. I can do all kinds of things with it:

  • Draw it.
  • Talk it out.
  • Sculpt it.
  • Fancy needle point thing it.
  • I can even write it.

Well, I’d probably write it over any of those other ones, but that doesn’t mean you have to. You can play with your ideas however you want. The important thing is that you USE them.

Every. Single. One.

They might not all turn into that beautiful book, but we can learn from them all:

  • What made this idea work?
  • Why did this one fail?
  • Can I revise it so that it’s better?
  • Is there a different approach that I haven’t considered?

So, take out those ideas. Play with them. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you do, learn from them.

Take what you learn and turn it into successes.

And then…

Reach back into that idea jar and do it again.

As a special treat, in honor of my newest book, I’m giving away my #1 thing to help you write picture books that will sell absolutely FREE, along with 35 tips and tricks to help you do it. Just stop over to

Adam Lehrhaupt is an award-winning children’s author and writing coach.

He has written 14 picture books, including his newest, IDEA JAR (S&S, available TODAY) illustrated by Deb Pilutti.